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Old 03-31-2012, 03:24 PM #11
frenchfri1003 frenchfri1003 is offline
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Hi Ginnie,
I wonder how much more if at all you have lose of ROM due to the extra level being fused. I am fused C5-6 C6-7. On cold rainy miserable days, I am so tight it makes driving tough. I don't feel as if I turn my neck as well. DO you have the same feelings? I am hoping to plant a little bit this year. I have had issues with RSD and numbness in my hands and feet.
So the saga continues. Have a painfree day.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:47 PM #12
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Default Hi French

Well you have been through the ringer as well. I am fused C3-7 and it was after a failed C6-7. ROM is limited, no doubt about it. I did do all the therapy I could beinging at just 4 weeks. I have trouble driving as well. I no longer drive at night or long distances. A fast turn of the head feels terrible. I am so sorry that both of us are going through this. How are the ones above and below your fusion? Have you got records or MRI of after showing the state of those verterbre? I know for a fact my C1-2 and T1-3 are not in that great of shape. I won't have any more fusions. It took have this site to convince me to go through the last one! Have you done any therapy at home?

Yesterday I did a no no. I took enough meds that I am allowed, but I worked in my sons yard for too long. My whole body is hurting I have DJD as well. I should have known not to do so much. Pain killers work alright, but they don't tell you enough is enough., so today I pay the price. My son has been super good to me by paying for my huge dental bill. I wanted to work in his yard until I feel like I have helped him in return. Neck is bad.....too much looking down to pull weeds. So I do know French, the problems that go along with having these fusions. None of it is easy. I am sure here to talk to anytime you want. I drive short distances, and pick less crowded times to drive in as well. Let me know what your issues are and how you are doing in general. How long has it been since your surgery, me 22 months. ginnie

Last edited by ginnie; 03-31-2012 at 03:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:35 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchfri1003 View Post
Hi Ginnie,
I wonder how much more if at all you have lose of ROM due to the extra level being fused. I am fused C5-6 C6-7. On cold rainy miserable days, I am so tight it makes driving tough. I don't feel as if I turn my neck as well. DO you have the same feelings? I am hoping to plant a little bit this year. I have had issues with RSD and numbness in my hands and feet.
So the saga continues. Have a painfree day.
dear french

i am right where you are
pain woke me out of sleep
no more for me
i am still in limbo
have no clue if completed
with the fusing after 2nd surgery
had things on back burner
due to cancer
but i'll be getting
filmed as soon as spacers
come out they have magnets
in them
i am so sorry you
sound like how i feel
ALL THE TIME NOW
MOSTLY AFTER SECOND
SURGERY
WISHING YOU HEALING
THAT WORKS IN THE END
MY IDIOT DOCTOR
DEEMS AFTER A YEAR
YOU ARE SAID TO BE HEALED
NOT IN MY CASE
THAT I AM SURE OF

FEEL GOOD
AND HOPE THINGS AREN'T
ANYTHING WHERE I AM
AT
__________________
someone who cares
eva
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:18 PM #14
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Default HI Eva

I know you have been posting to French. I am sorry where your back issues are so hard on you. Especially after being through this cancer. I so hope a solution can be found where you have a better level of comfort. Please have hope. I may not have liked my surgery, and had a hard recovery, but the surgery did help me. No question about that. I am not 100% of course, but much better, with no neuro symptoms in my arms or hands. My neck is stiff, and does not turn over my shoulder very well. ROM was effected, but the results I can't really complain about considering what I was like before the surgery. it was this site Eva, and those dear souls, that helped me through that surgery, and all phases of my recovery. I am 22 months post, and I did do some garden work the other day. Hope answers come your way. ginnie
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:25 PM #15
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Default Hi Walshka

You and I have had the same surgery. C3-7. I do have ROM issues as well. I do not drive much anymore because of that. so far so good for me as far as neuro trouble, but there is pain above and below for me. I have DJD and DDD so I fear that these are now starting to act up. I am post 22 months. i did do garden work, but paid a price for it. I so hope that your surgery heals, and that you get the relief. that surgery isn't easy to go through either. For me it worked for the most part in the reduction of pain. I just fear what is coming might not be so good for other of my verterbre. Take care, ginnie
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:47 PM #16
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Default Muscle spasms suck & so do some P.T.'s

I am 3 months, 2 weeks post C5-C6 ACDF. I'm having a tough time with the muscle spasms too. What's particularly frustrating for me is the conflicting information I received regarding recovery time prior to having surgery. I think my doc was 'overly optomistic' and indicated I'd be on the shorter end of recovery (2-3 weeks). He didn't tell me that the neck pain and upper shoulder muscle spasms would be an issue. He doesn't understand why it's taking this long for those symptoms to resolve, yet my physical therapist says this is normal for the type of surgery I had.

I use heat and ice frequently to try to calm the spasms. Usually heat first thing in the morning and when I go to bed. I use ice over the area periodically throughout the day. I take tizanidine for a muscle relaxer at bedtime and still use oxycodone during severe episodes. I've been on the oxycodone longer than I would like but I can't tolerate the pain without out. From what I'm reading on the boards and also from what my P.T. says, it will be a good 6 months before I start to feel 'normal' again. The only symptom that the surgery took care of from the get go was my arm numbness and tingling.

At this point, I feel like I am not being taken seriously by my doctor when I tell him how bad the pain is. It seems like he's being skeptical or thinking I'm malingering but I'm not. This is all very real. The muscle tightness and spasms can be confirmed with physical examination.

Has anyone else here stayed in physical therapy beyond 8 weeks? Have any of you had difficulty with your P.T wanting to end treatment before you felt ready? That's another issue I'm having. My P.T. says his job is done. However, my pain has increased since stopping P.T. for the past two weeks. Also, my P.T made a big deal saying he was 'concerned' that the insurance company wouldn't pay for any more therapy after a certain number of weeks. I called the insurance company and found out everything is fine and I have plenty of sessions yet. But that wasn't good enough for the therapist. He went around me and called the doctor telling him we should stop therapy and the doc should put me on anti-inflammatory meds. I was like WTF?? That's B.S. I'm thinking of asking for a referral to a new therapist.




Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchfri1003 View Post
Hi to all.
I am 4 1/2 months post-op at this time. I am pleased that once the day gets started and I have completed my exercises I have decent ROM to the left and down a bit more limited right and very limited up. My strength is still poor. Generally I use 2 lb weight at home to complete exercises. There is one that I use a 5 lb weight for. My son still carries the heavy groceries and the laundry basket. If I try to do either then I will suffer with neck pain, tightness, knots or tingling in my shoulder blade region and muscle spasms. When does this end? I want to be able to complete every day activities without worrying about how I will feel. As stupid as it sounds I want to be able to clean the bathroom thoroughly including scrubbing the tub and really washing my floors. Tired of the superficial cleaning. I would also like to be able to plant a vegetable garden and my flowers. I guess I am just feeling sorry for myself. I know others have it much worse than I do. I am also concerned about levels above and below the fusion. I know that everyone heals at different rates....

*************************************** **********
12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
BMP & bone fragment filled cages
2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
2/17/2011 starting PT
wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit

Dealt with the pain and issues for more than 5 years
tried PT, chiropractic, acupuncture, cervical epidural shots and selective nerve root blocks prior to surgery
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:55 PM #17
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Default computer work makes neck pain worse!

Those of us that have to sit in the same position for the majority of the day and work on computers are more likely to have neck/shoulder problems to begin with. I didn't realize that my 'desk job' was going to be so challenging either after I returned to work from my ACDF. I could not tolerate more than 3 hours per day at first and had to gradually increase my hours. I work full time now (3 months post op) however, I have a lot of pain and have to use heat and ice throughout the day. This recovery has been very difficult.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ABBB View Post
Hi, I had acdf at C4/5, 5/6 and 6/7 on 2/21. I developed excruciating nerve pain in left arm POST-OP and had it for 15 days before it started subsiding. I had no nerve pain pre-op...just a dull ache in left arm. I was terrified thinking that the surgery had caused additional problems, but, now, I'm thinking that the nerve was irritable from being 'jiggled' during surgery and the fact that I had had the pain for almost three years pre-op (assault). I, too, was prescribed PT but have found that it causes pain...we have to listen to our bodies and do what works for us. I cannot do anything repetitive for very long with activating the pain across C6/7 where the worst herniation was. My immediate post-op pain was, also, excruciating; and I had to have strong pain meds which made my blood pressure drop dangerously low. I am just now starting to feel better. My PT and home health nurse think I should be able to do more at this point and have contacted the NS to ask that my x-ray appt. be bumped up since it is scheduled for one month from now...just to try to determine what is going on. Bottom line: listen to your body and do not let anyone dictate how much you do.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:06 AM #18
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Originally Posted by Sally Mae View Post
My P.T. says his job is done.
Is there anything to prevent you from continuing the P.T. on your own? Usually when I've had courses, I've had exercises to do between sessions and keep doing afterward for maintenance.

You might look into myofascial trigger point therapy, and ask you surgeon if it's ok to try. Once one of those knots gets established, they can be difficult to get rid of. Not all P.T.s know how to do this properly (even though they may say/think they can). Speaking from experience, MF therapy has helped my wife & self tremendously with spasms, and with help from a certified therapist, we've learned to do it at home, and still do when needed.

Working at computers all day is what caused our myofascial TPs to begin with. The therapy can be very effective for that - even for people who haven't had surgery.

Doc
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:29 PM #19
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Default P.T. on your own

Thanks Dr. Smith. I will definitely look into that! I still do the exercises and the stretches but it's not enough. I think it's time to find another P.T. and I will ask specifically about myofascial trigger certification.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Smith View Post
Is there anything to prevent you from continuing the P.T. on your own? Usually when I've had courses, I've had exercises to do between sessions and keep doing afterward for maintenance.

You might look into myofascial trigger point therapy, and ask you surgeon if it's ok to try. Once one of those knots gets established, they can be difficult to get rid of. Not all P.T.s know how to do this properly (even though they may say/think they can). Speaking from experience, MF therapy has helped my wife & self tremendously with spasms, and with help from a certified therapist, we've learned to do it at home, and still do when needed.

Working at computers all day is what caused our myofascial TPs to begin with. The therapy can be very effective for that - even for people who haven't had surgery.

Doc
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:35 AM #20
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Originally Posted by Sally Mae View Post
Thanks Dr. Smith. I will definitely look into that! I still do the exercises and the stretches but it's not enough. I think it's time to find another P.T. and I will ask specifically about myofascial trigger certification.
You don't want a P.T. You want a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist (different animal), which may be considered "alternative" and not covered by insurance (which makes no sense at all - this therapy helped JFK with chronic back pain).
http://massageunwrapped.com/2011/01/...point-therapy/

MF Trigger Points can be strange li'l buggers indeed; they can work singly or in groups and telegraph pain far from the actual problem. We get recurring pain/spasm on top of our shoulders that are actually caused by 3 TPs that begin way down under the shoulder blades. We not only have to hit all three; they must also be treated in the exact correct order, and followed up with balancing stretches, but it's worth it!

Here are a couple of links to get you started. If they don't have a therapist listed near you, don't give up (just went through this with someone else); not all of them list with this site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_point
http://www.myofascialtherapy.org/
http://www.triggerpointbook.com/
(better prices to be found)

Doc
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